Surgery #2: Infected Skin

I have been having a hell of a time with these tissue expanders. I feel like I can hardly breathe. I went in for my check up with my surgeon the other day, after my debacle in the emergency room. My regular plastic surgeon was actually out of town, so I had to see his medical partner. It turns out the ER staff never called or notified my surgeontissue that I was even there. To say he was ticked off is an understatement. He was on a day trip and his assistant assured me that he would have been there to see me if he’d have known.

My mom and I told the other surgeon that that was the reason we chose to drive to an ER over an hour away … because my surgeon was in there.  I was wondering why everyone was surprised to be seeing me so soon.

As it turns out, I had a skin infection on my right side … I would say “right breast” but I no longer have breasts to even say that. The surgeon needed to do a repair so that the skin infection so it wouldn’t spread, so it turns out I had to be readmitted to the hospital and have a surgery the next day.

emergencyLet the nightmare of the ER – again – begin. So, if you’re being admitted by your surgeon/doctor to the hospital you have to go through the emergency room. I already felt like hell and didn’t want to deal with it, but was told that the ER would call me when my room was ready.

Mom and I went to Outback Steakhouse and were trying to decide how to kill the next few hours … plus, I didn’t have anything with me for a hospital stay and Aiden was in school and didn’t know what was going on, so we decided to drive back to Waldorf so I could get my stuff together and also take care of Aiden while we waited.

Once we got the call we told them that we’d be there in a little over an hour and headed back to the hospital. We went to the ER, and I’m feeling pretty miserable and tired and highly medicated and just needed to lay down, and they tell us to have a seat.

Me, Aiden and mom are sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there. They had called us and told us that our room was ready – over an hour ago – why the hell are we sitting here and waiting. I’m about half dead by now and my mom, who is super soft spoken and nice, goes up to the counter and next thing you know, she’s yelling at the woman that she wants to speak to whomever is in charge … I should mention that we had been sitting in the waiting room for an hour. It has literally been two hours since they called and told us my room was ready.  I needed to lie down, Aiden was getting restless, and my poor mom was stuck with both of us.

Finally, an orderly came and took me to my room. I was starving by now, we were trying to hurry up and get to the hospital once they told me my room was ready and then all that waiting in the waiting room – I missed dinner. My surgery was scheduled for the next afternoon, so I could eat – but had to do so pretty quickly because I was nearing the cut off for no eating before the surgery.

The nurses sent my mom down to the cafeteria to get me something to eat while they get me in my gown and situated. Then, a different doctor walks in and we’re talking and my mom brings my food into me…Thank God. I’m starving. The doctor said I couldn’t eat and I told him that my surgery isn’t until the next afternoon, so I was within my window before the 12-hour lockdown of no eating or drinking. He told me to wait before I ate because he was going to see if they needed to run any tests or anything. So, my food just sat there on the hospital table, smelling good and I wasn’t allowed to eat it. *ugh*

I visit with mom and Aiden a little more and then they leave and my food is STILL sittingfeed-me on the table, and I haven’t seen that doctor in over an hour. So I press the nurse button and I ask if I can eat my food. They were confused why I hadn’t eaten it already and when I told them they said not to eat because they wanted to check with the doctor. Finally, about 20 minutes later they came in and told me that I didn’t need to take any more tests and that I could eat and drink.

So finally, I got to eat a cold burger, soggy salad and a watered down drink. I give up.

I settle in for the night and get some rest. The next morning, I wake up and my mom is there, quietly sitting in the chair working a crossword puzzle on her phone and we visit for a little bit, then they wheel me out for my second surgery. This damn mastectomy has been a pain in my chest- literally. It took me extra nights in the hospital, a trip to the ER, and now a second surgery all in the matter of only a few weeks.

These expanders still hurt like hell and I’m still draining a lot of fluid, but I am home, with more stitches in my chest, but home. Let’s hope I can FINALLY begin my road to recovery and not have any more emergency hospital visits or unplanned surgeries.

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